At this point, we are all aware of the Coronavirus pandemic that has brought the world to a standstill.
With the virus spreading exponentially and the death toll increasing by the day, the economies of affected countries have been adversely impacted.
This has affected both businesses and marketers on an unprecedented scale. Marketing budgets are being cut down, businesses are closing shop, creating business continuity plans, and more.
This is the worst business shutdown of the last decade and it has affected our digital marketing community as well. I myself am sitting at home like millions of others and thinking of ways to deal with the crisis both as a marketer and as an individual.
As individuals, all that we can do is stay at home.
But as marketers, we can do a lot more.
We can inform people, spread awareness, engage with our audiences, or simply be there for them in their time of need.
Want to know how businesses have been impacted by this pandemic and what we, as marketers, can do in these uncertain times? Read on to find out.
The coronavirus outbreak has adversely affected businesses worldwide. The stock market performance in all regions has seen a continued downfall since the pandemic.
What’s more, you ask?
Well, the pandemic has affected almost all industries, though, some more than others.
The entire business world is suffering and most companies are barely surviving by implementing business continuity plans.
Due to the ongoing crisis there has been a cross-industry freeze in spending by businesses, especially those that are hit hard.
Given that most businesses are suffering from losses, it is understandable that they are cutting their spending in all areas. This, unfortunately, also includes their advertising and marketing spends.
But, is that the best way to deal with the situation?
We think not.
Let’s find out what you should do in the next section.
While it may seem counterintuitive to spend on marketing in this time of crisis, it is actually the best time to invest in digital marketing.
With most people working from home and being extremely active online and on social media, digital marketing is the best way to reach a much larger audience.
People, in general, are spending more time online to stay updated about the current happenings.
Media and news websites, social media platforms, etc. are the most frequented online platforms for people dealing with this crisis. People are looking for all sorts of content resources to stay informed and be ready to deal with the situation.
In such a scenario, when the whole world is flocking to social media and online resources, it makes sense for businesses and marketers to try to win their attention. After all, why would you spend less on digital marketing when the whole world is online now more than ever?
Here are some of the marketing ideas in which you can continue your digital marketing efforts during the coronavirus pandemic:
The first and most important rule for you to follow is to show empathy and be responsible.
Do not create or publish content that spreads fear or causes more panic. This is a time of crisis and you need to be empathetic to the situation and this should reflect in all of your marketing communications.
If your marketing seems insensitive or provocative at all, it could do irreparable damage to your brand’s reputation. Marketing in the time of coronavirus needs to be responsible and useful for your audience and people in general.
One way in which you can show empathy is by helping out in this time of need, thus, winning people’s respect and trust.
Take the example of Loom Videos, for instance. They provide video-conferencing services that enable people to work and collaborate remotely.
In this time of crisis, most people are working from home and would require such services. So they slashed their prices and expanded the scope of their free plan to help people do that.
This is something that you can replicate for your business. Provide free service, extended trials, and discounted prices during the Coronavirus crisis and win people over.
Moreover, this will also help you get more customers, so it’s a win-win for everyone. So, come up with lucrative offers and promote these across channels to benefit as many people as you can.
Use social media to promote your offers as people are extra-active there in these times.
One brilliant way of continuing marketing during the coronavirus pandemic is to start an awareness campaign. What this entails is spreading useful information about the crisis and how to deal with it.
The aim of such campaigns is to inform people about the severity of the situation and to urge them to not take it lightly.
Here’s an example of a coronavirus awareness marketing campaign started by ViacomCBS:
When it comes to marketing during the coronavirus pandemic, content marketing is your best bet. The demand for useful content resources related to the outbreak is very high as people are turning to online resources for help.
This is a perfect time to create different types of content on the topic and share it on multiple channels. The kind of content could range from informative blog posts to “how-to” videos on precautionary measures.
Basically, anything that tells informs people about:
Whatever industry you’re in, think of things that might help your target customer segment. And, don’t make such content promotional, otherwise, you will lose credibility.
Think of this as a long-term marketing strategy and not a short-term one. You need to win your prospective customers’ trust in this time of crisis and this will be beneficial later.
Don’t try to sell. Try to help.
Everyone these days is flocking to social media platforms to get the latest updates and see what’s going on around the world. People are getting together on social media while practicing social distancing in real life.
This is the best time to invest in social media marketing as you will get more reach and engagement than ever before. Instead of cutting your social media marketing budget, you need to increase it.
What better time to share social media posts than when people are most active, right?
Take Marvel Entertainment, for example. The movie industry has taken a big hit as cinemas have shut down, but that hasn’t stopped the company from remaining active on social media.
On Instagram, they post once or twice a day. Lately, most of their posts have promoted their comic books and online games.
Additionally, they are also asking their comic readers to opt for safe purchasing options for the latest comic books.
You can participate in existing challenges like these and show your support or start a new challenge. This could be a part of a broader marketing campaign that starts a conversation about coronavirus, while also marketing your brand.
Go through all the precautionary measures suggested by WHO and other authorities and come up with your own ideas for a social media challenge.
If there’s one thing that we can say with absolute certainty it is that challenges have a way of going viral. And, in times like these when coronavirus is all that people are talking about, these might do especially well.
Use influencers to participate in your challenge and promote it to their followers.
We are facing one of the biggest crises of our lifetimes and this has hit businesses hard. However, all is not lost.
While the coronavirus outbreak has forced people to stay in their homes, it has also caused an increase in the amount of time people spend online. Therefore, it is a good time to invest in digital marketing to reap long-term benefits.
So, use these tips and start your coronavirus marketing campaign right now.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the Co-Founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.